May 29, 2009

How We Know It's Getting Worse in Pakistan

The new report on Afghanistan and Pakistan that I helped put together here at CNAS will have an entire section devoted to metrics for following the President's strategy in Afghanistan and Pakistan. One thing, though, that I will be watching closely in the next 12 months will not so much be events in the FATA or NWFP but the frequency with which the urban areas of Punjab and Sindh are struck by attacks by militants. Yesterday's news, then, is all kinds of bad. Coordinated attacks? On cities across the country?

The attacks in the northwest followed an assault on a police building and intelligence agency office in the eastern city of Lahore on Wednesday that killed as many as 30 people. The Taliban asserted responsibility for that attack, and government officials were quick to blame the group for Thursday's attacks as well.